Summer Days, Vitamin D & You

Summer.  Just that one word seems to hold endless potential.  The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and the grass is literally greener.  While there’s definitely something to be said for waking up to the sunshine, did you know that along with that daily increase of sunshine our bodies are actually more likely to produce Vitamin D on their own? That’s pretty cool considering the myriad of health benefits that come from the “sunshine vitamin” including: bone health, immune system support and so much more.  Research has even shown that low levels of Vitamin D are linked to depression.  Vitamin D helps to encourage the production of serotonin, which ultimately helps to boost your mood (and you thought it was just a coincidence that you loved summer).

Seriously though, studies show that not all of us are getting enough Vitamin D. Men & women, aged 19-50 should have around 600 international units (IU/day) and there’s lots of options for you  to up your daily intake.

Men & women, aged 19-50 should have around 600 international units (IU/day) of Vitamin D daily.

I know what you’re thinking, GET OUTSIDE.  It’s true, especially in the summer.  Just 20 minutes in the sun (daily) will give your body plenty of Vitamin D.  However, your need for Vitamin D is ongoing and the sun isn’t actually strong enough to produce it from October – May.  So, whether soaking up the sun just isn’t your thing or you’re looking for a little top up, keep reading, we’ve compiled a list of simple ways for you to get your fill.

  1. Fatty fish. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and halibut (to name a few) are all high sources of vitamin D and can even provide you with 100% of the daily recommended amount in one single serving.
  2. Canned fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines are a little easier on the budget than fresh fish and still pack a powerful punch of Vitamin D, delivering anywhere from 25-100% of the daily recommended amount.
  3. Eggs, particularly the yolks are an excellent source of vitamin D, not to mention protein.
  4. Fortified foods have additional vitamins and minerals. Milk, breads, cereals, and orange juice are just a few suggestions of where you can find a little extra Vitamin D.
  5. Cod liver oil. This sounds somewhat unappetizing; however, cod liver oil often comes in capsule form and one little teaspoon contains over 70% of your daily recommended intake.

If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough Vitamin D, talk to your doctor about what plan of action is best for you.

*Nutritional values vary depending on the product.  Always read the label to be sure of what’s inside.

**This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace the advice of a doctor, dietician, and/or any other medical professional.